I. Preliminary Quotes
John Nelson Darby helped to show that administrations hinged on the introduction of government. In an address in June 1839 (at Leamington), he pointed out:
Before the proper dispensation of God, we get the world before the flood; not exactly a dispensation, but a body of men left, in a certain sense, to themselves. There was testimony, as in Enoch and Noah, but no dispensed order or system by which God acted as governing the earth. We find even in this, that God acts in the grace of His own character. Noah was a faithful witness; in him was the great principle [of faith], though this was not strictly a dispensation.
Again, in 1839 (at Geneva), he stated:
But (to enter a little more into the succession of dispensations, and also into that which concerns the character of God in this respect) the first thing which we would remark is the deluge, because until then there had not been, so to speak, government in the world. The prophecy which existed before the deluge was to this effect, that Christ was to come. The teachings of God were ever to this end: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” Let us pass on. In Noah’s time there was government of the earth, and God coming in judgment and committing the right of the sword to man.
Chart describing the three administrations of government under the first man (first and second administrations), and finally the Second man (third administration).
Another chart which describes these concepts, as well as other connected themes: